Do Your Gums Bleed When Brushing and Flossing?

girl smiling in field-gums bleed when brushing

Do Your Gums Bleed When Brushing and Flossing?

The last thing you expect to be a part of your daily pattern is blood in the bathroom sink. If your gums bleed when you’re brushing or flossing your teeth, it could be a sign that something about your oral hygiene routine needs to change. Or, it could be an early indication of gum disease. If you have bleeding gums, Hicks Dental Group can help you determine the best way to get healthy gums again.

Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

There are several possible causes for bleeding gums. If this is the first time you’ve flossed your teeth in a while, then it isn’t uncommon for your irritated gums to bleed. If you stay on top of your flossing routine, the bleeding should stop in about a week. Consistently bleeding gums, however, are abnormal and you should make a dentist appointment immediately.

Improper Brushing or Flossing

Another reason your gums may be bleeding is an improper brushing or flossing technique. Make sure that the bristles of your toothbrush are soft and comfortable, and that you are not exerting too much force and brushing too hard. When flossing, gently guide the floss between each tooth—don’t force it, or you will irritate your gums.

Vitamin-Deficient Diet

A diet that is lacking in certain vitamins can cause your gums to bleed. Specifically, vitamin C and vitamin K are important for healthy gums. A lack of vitamin C can lead to swollen and bleeding gums, while vitamin K is necessary for proper blood clotting. Dark, leafy greens are a powerhouse source of both vitamins K and C!

Gum Disease

If your toothbrush is soft and you eat a balanced diet, then bleeding gums may be a sign of gum disease. When bacteria, plaque, and tartar build up along your gum line, you can develop gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease and cause irreversible damage. 

Symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Swollen, tender gums
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • A receding gum line
  • Dark red instead of pink gums
  • Bad breath


Periodontitis can lead to other health complications, so it is important to make a dentist appointment right away if you experience symptoms of gum disease. 

Health Problems

Lastly, bleeding gums can also be a sign of more serious health problems. Diabetes makes it difficult to fight off other diseases, increasing the risk of periodontitis. Excessive bleeding could also result from low platelet count, which is a symptom of leukemia. It is important to talk to a doctor about diagnosing a severe condition if your bleeding gums are not due to gingivitis.

How to Prevent Bleeding Gums

Here are a few best practices for keeping your gums healthy:

  • Good oral hygiene is the best way to avert any oral health issues. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly will prevent bleeding gums and will head off the possibility of developing gum disease.
  • Eat a nutritional diet and stay hydrated to make sure not just your gums, but your whole body stays happy and healthy. You might also want to take a daily multivitamin to make sure you get enough C and K.
  • Visiting the dentist regularly will also help you maintain healthy gum tissue and address any health concerns as they arise. Your dentist can recognize the early signs of diseases like gingivitis, and give you the treatment you need to keep your gums healthy.


Schedule a Dental Appointment for Bleeding Gums

The team at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott, Arizona is here to help you maintain a bright and beautiful smile. If your gums bleed when brushing, or you are concerned about any other aspect of your oral health, call us at 928-445-6030 or schedule an appointment online today.



Photo by Mitch Walker on Unsplash (05/03/22)